Paying For It
The Foundation Center keeps Forms 990 for every non-profit organization which files with the IRS. It is fairly easy to see how much the school reported as income and expenses as well as a wealth of other data. Note that it is frankly impossible to compare apples to apples when it comes to private schools. Even their accounting and reporting varies from school to school. But a review of the data paints the same picture: costs are rising.
Another fact to consider is that tuition charged by a school does not completely offset expenses. That is why you will see your tuition bill filled with additional charges for technology, communications, laundry, athletics, uniforms and so on. These sundries, as the more bespoke schools style them, vary from school to school.
At the bottom of the scale in terms of fees are the parochial schools. The Roman Catholic, Jewish, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian and Muslim schools offer great educations for a very reasonable cost. Most of these schools are day schools. Schools like the Cristo del Rey schools specifically target at risk children from families which could not otherwise afford a private school education.
Helping the affordability factor is the initiative taken by several leading prep schools. Read Private School May Be Free If You Make Less Than $75,000 for details.
Remember: most private schools offer generous financial aid. Be sure to ask each school on your list. Don't forget
- Abell Foundation, Inc. (MD)
- BASIC Fund (CA)
- Bay Area Scholarships for Inner-City Children Fund
- Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust
- A Better Chance
- BISON Scholarship Fund (New York)
- Black Student Fund (DC)
- Capital Partners For Education (DC)
- Catholic Schools Foundation (Massachusetts)
- Children's Scholarship Fund (TX)
- Commonweal Foundation (MD)
- The Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation (Chicago)
- The Denver Foundation
- The Independent Scholarship Fund
- Inner-City Scholarship Fund (Boston)
- Inner-City Scholarship Fund (New York)
- Latino Student FunD (DC)
- LINK UnlimiteD (Chicago)
- Maine Community Foundation
- Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship & Financial Assistance
- New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
- Partners Advancing Values in Education (WI)
- Philadelphia Society of Friends
- Prep for Prep
- Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education
- Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children (NJ)
- School CHOICE Scholarships, Inc. (KY)
- Shepherd Foundation (DC)
- Skillman Foundation (MI)
- Student/Partner Alliance (NJ)
- Tri-County Scholarship Fund (NJ)
- Vermont Student Opportunity Scholarships (VT)
- Washington Scholarship Fund
- Wight Foundation, Inc. (New Jersey)
- YES Opportunities, Inc.